Projecting Ohio State's 2023 Depth Chart
As the Spring transfer portal window has closed, and things seem to have calmed down in Columbus, it would appear that Ohio State's 2023 Roster is set for the most part. Any future departures would possibly be players who were not likely to contribute, so the time is now to put out how we think the Depth Chart could look like when the Buckeyes head to Bloomington to take on Indiana on September 2nd.
Here are the moves that took place for Ohio State in the transfer portal Spring Window:
CB Lorenzo Styles (Notre Dame)
OT Josh Simmons (San Diego State)
DT Tywone Malone (Ole Miss)
WR Caleb Burton (Texas Tech)
OT Ben Christman (Kentucky)
WR Kaleb Brown (Iowa)
The additions greatly outweighed the subtractions in the short cycle as some major roster concerns were addressed by an aggressive approach by Ryan Day and the coaching staff. This may be signaling an ideological shift when it comes to the transfer portal after seeing the success so many other programs have had with it. If that is true, and the Buckeyes begin winning major battles in the portal on a consistent basis, it may unlock a new gear for the program.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we shouldn't see any changes to this list until to we get some information out of fall camp in August.
The QB1 position remains an open competition as Spring Practices have ended, as Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will continue battling for the starting spot during fall camp. As things seem to stand, McCord appears to have a leg up, but a big camp from Brown could sway the coaches. This will remain a top storyline until a decision is made by Ryan Day.
The Buckeyes will have arguably the deepest running back room in the country in 2023, despite not signing anyone to the position in the 2023 class. A healthy TreVeyon Henderson is a Top 3 tailback in the country, and Miyan Williams is a proven work horse at the position. After an injury riddled 2022, Tote Nation will look to get back to form in 2023.
Wide Receiver (X)
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Wide Receiver (Y)
Wide Receiver (Z)
Brian Hartline's room remains the best in the country heading into this season, and loses no real production, as Jaxon Smith-Njigba spent most of last season on the sideline with injury. With the early rise of the freshmen during the spring, it is not a stretch to say this years room could be the best under Hartline.
Gee Scott Jr.
Knowing how often the Buckeyes like to get into 12 personnel, I think everyone on this list should receive a good amount of playing time. Jelani Thurman may have had the most impressive spring out of anyone in the program, and his potential will be too much for Keenan Bailey to keep off the field in his first year as the TE coach.
Victor Cutler Jr.
The starting five on the offensive line seems pretty clear at this point, but the two deep is where things get murky. Josh Simmons provides a much needed boost at Right Tackle, but health will be the most important thing for this group. Enokk Vimahi and Tegra Tshabola are likely the 6th and 7th men for this line, so expect seeing those two on the field when the Buckeyes get into their Jumbo package.
Kenyatta Jackson Jr.
The output at the defensive end position should be greatly improved this year. Javontae Jean-Baptiste ate up a lot of meaningful snaps last season, and simply wasn't the caliber of player Ohio State needs on the edge. With big springs from Sawyer, Curry, Jackson Jr, and Abor, look for the Buckeyes to have no issue with depth behind Tuimoloau as he makes the leap into being the leader of the room.
Depth at defensive tackle was a major concern heading into this offseason, but a big spring from Hero Kanu, and the addition of Tywone Malone in the portal have been huge. There will be no veteran log-jam this year, as Taron Vincent and Jarron Cage are off to the next stage of their career, and the Buckeyes look to have impactful playmakers at every level of the rotation that Larry Johnson loves to implement.
It is always good to have a returning All-American and a 5-Star playmaker ready to break out in a room, and that is exactly what Ohio State has in the Linebacker room. Chambers and Eichenberg have secured their starting spots, but CJ Hicks will absolutely be on the field for a lot of snaps this fall. Mix in Cody Simon and Gabe Powers, and the Buckeyes will look to have their most productive LB unit since 2019.
Jermaine Mathews Jr.
An underwhelming 2022 for a room that was marred by injury led to an offseason of soul searching for the corners and Tim Walton. Denzel Burke had an incredible spring, and the addition of Freshman All-American, Davison Igbinosun, from Ole Miss have revitalized expectations in the room. A name to watch in fall camp will be Calvin Simpson-Hunt, who was a lockdown corner in Texas, and someone the coaches thought was the best in the country at his position. How quickly he gets acclimated in Columbus will be an interesting storyline to watch.
I should preface the safety preview with the fact that I do no think this lineup will roll out against Indiana, but when we look back on the season, this will be the order of snaps played. The ceiling of Styles and Carter is too high to keep off the field, and Martinez and Ransom can be elite depth pieces. Expect Kye Stokes to push Josh Proctor hard at the free safety position. The overall athleticism of this room and coverage ability should be much better than it was last year, and should allow Knowles to be aggressive in his calls, without fear of giving up a long touchdown.